IT process automation

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Managed service providers (MSPs) have been around since the 1990s, handling repetitive, essential, and time-consuming operations in the IT ecosystem for businesses. Some of the key services they offer include infrastructure maintenance and monitoring, technical support, application deployment, and network management.

According to Statista, the global managed services market was valued at $161.37 billion in 2021. Currently, businesses of all sizes across the globe are leveraging MSPs to boost their efficiency and productivity.

Considering the accelerating digital transformation and constantly evolving needs of businesses, it’s critical for MSPs to remain relevant and ahead of their competitors. IT process automation is one of the latest trends that MSPs could adopt and offer their clients to optimize their existing processes.

What Is IT Process Automation?

IT process automation leverages software and systems to help eliminate hectic manual operations, reduce repetitive tasks, focus on critical decision-making, and save significant effort and costs. Once a business identifies a tedious task, it can set up appropriate processes through available tools and automate that task based on a trigger system.

Still, businesses have long questioned whether they should get these tasks done in-house or hire an MSP. Recruiting a team is resource-intensive and requires up-to-date infrastructure to accommodate these intelligent technologies. On the other hand, the plethora of services available today make it easier to get on board with MSPs.

MSPs are already reaping the benefits of IT process automation. They can scale more quickly, mitigate errors, and adapt to stakeholders’ needs. They also get to spend more time brainstorming strategies and making business decisions.

Why Is IT Process Automation Important for MSPs?

MSPs have to meet client demands in the ever-changing business landscape, and they need to focus on expanding their services and improving their offerings per the market’s needs. So automating simple, time-consuming, and daily tasks can help them improve their work quality, decrease operating costs, and meet customers’ evolving tech requirements.

Reports forecast that the global IT process automation market will grow to $25.9 billion by 2027. As companies digitally expand and embrace technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), MSPs can leverage this scenario. They can perform business process analysis for organizations and identify the areas that need technological overhauling. MSPs can deliver well-strategized automation strategies designed to meet their each client’s unique needs.

Benefits of IT Process Automation

Through IT process automation, MSPs can set up processes and improve their business performance for themselves and their clients. Specifically, automation can help streamline complex processes, run firmware updates, create digital touchpoints, build invoicing workflows, utilize infrastructure monitoring, implement infrastructure as code (IaC), and improve network management.

Streamline complex processes

With IT process automation, MSPs can look beyond automating simple and basic processes such as password resets for their customers. They can expand services to unexplored complex activities in diverse areas like automated ticket resolutions, ticket analytics, monitoring, business process automation, and cybersecurity.

This means they can quickly respond to client issues and support critical business-focused tasks. This saves time and helps service providers and their customers utilize their resources in the best way.

Run firmware updates

When using a new operating system or keeping the device secured from risks and breaches, it’s crucial to update the firmware that power most machines. MSPs with updated device-specific tools can streamline operational efficiency, eliminating the need for manual updates. With automated firmware updates, MSPs can offer faster IT deployments, reduced downtime risks, and improved device performance.

Create digital touchpoints

AI/ML-powered automation allows MSPs to expand their horizon and cover new operations such as employee learning and talent management, human resources and finance operations, field support, on-site support, virtual assistants, digital lockers, and more. This helps enhance their customers’ experience and lower costs.

Build invoicing workflows

Manually creating quotes and invoices for clients involves a lot of paperwork and time, which can lead to burnout and frustration, plus the potential for error. MSPs can resolve these issues with automated systems for billing and quote generation. As a result, their clients also get the advantage of transparent billing.

Utilize infrastructure monitoring

Businesses are increasingly adopting cloud-native technologies and distributed IT infrastructure to streamline business objectives and customer experience. MSPs can take a step further and utilize infrastructure monitoring tools to automate problem detection around workflows and infrastructure. These solutions also notify businesses before it’s too late so they can take immediate action to keep the infrastructure up and running.

Implement infrastructure as code

Traditionally, MSPs set up servers all day and night, but those days are long gone thanks to infrastructure-as-code platforms that support provision servers and other devices in operating systems, storage resources, and networking configurations. IaC helps in managing and provisioning infrastructure with code and automation. Here, MSPs can duplicate configurations seamlessly and finish complex operations in no time, encouraging the business to focus on other mission-critical tasks.

Improve network management

MSPs can utilize automation for efficient network management. Whether they want to set up networking hardware, adjust bandwidth and network load to keep services running, or react to network failures, almost everything can now be automated.

MSPs can save time in load balancing since they don’t have to adjust routes manually. Automation tools also help configure network devices more quickly, making network monitoring easier and better.

The Way Forward for MSPs

MSPs can benefit from IT process automation to remain coherent and relevant in the changing business scenario. Since they need to upgrade systems constantly, automation can also make upscaling much smoother. MSPs’ switch to IT process automation also gives their clients the benefit of better and highly affordable services — a win-win for both managed service providers and their customers.